Galway dads are taking greater advantage of the paternity benefits out there for them, with 1,133 fathers drawing the government’s two week worth of paid benefits so far this year.
Since they were introduced in September 2016, more than 51,000 fathers in Ireland have made use of the €240 per week Paternity Benefit.
Of those, 4,100 were self-employed men.
Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said she was delighted with the growing number of fathers making use of the benefits available to them.
“The Government recognises the importance of providing support for parents of young children and is very much aware that the first year in a child’s life is of particular importance.”
The Paternity Benefit is a payment for employed and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work and are covered by PSRI.
It is available for any child born or adopted after September 1, 2016 and can be taken any time in the first six months after birth or the adoption placement.
From next March onwards the payment will increase to €245 per week, and will be joined by a new Parental Benefit Scheme in late 2019.
The new Parental Benefit Scheme will offer both parents an additional two weeks of benefits paid at €245 per week anytime in the first year of the child’s life or adoption placement.
“This new scheme is designed to be family-friendly and flexible,” Minister Doherty added.
“The first 12 months of life are incredibly formative for a child and the benefit of allowing parents’ greater time with a new baby will be beneficial to individual children, families and society as a whole.”
“I am particularly happy that, with both paternal leave and this new parental leave scheme, we are creating more opportunities for fathers to have the time to spend with their new arrivals as this greatly benefits both child and parent.”